We are no longer all British!

November 2, 2009 at 4:05 am (Commentary) ()

Today a couple of young Englishmen called in doing a survey for GOGREEN, and I got talking to them. First saying I detected their Southern English accents, and they told me they were from London.

I asked them were they visitors or residents, and they said, they were here for a year and hoped to stay longer, but there could be difficulties. I mentioned that my forebears come from Shepherd’s Bush in London and one said that was where he came from. I then went on to say that when I first visited England in the fifties, we were all considered to be British and went through the barriers as such, but alas, the Empire is no longer and as Australians coming to the UK now we are considered aliens, the same as the poor old Brits coming into Australia.

I then went on to tell them about a friend, a Battle of Britain pilot with a DFC, upon entering Britain, he was told that he had to go through the barrier at customs for aliens, and he refused, and made such a fuss along the lines that he fought for this country, and there was no way he was going to enter as an alien. Eventually the authorities relinquished, and let hin through the citizens’ gate.

I must admit that I did embellish the story a bit. The pilot was not actually a friend, and whether he had a DFC or not, I don’t know, but I did hear this story from someone as being something that did actually happen to a Battle of Britain pilot and his reaction.

The point of this little tale is that some of us might feel we are British, and like St Paul of old be proud of Roman Citizenship, but a fat lot of good this will do Englishmen or Australians. On reflection I suppose it didn’t do St Paul much good, but then again, I suppose it’s better to have your head cut off than to be crucified.

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